Google Pixel 4 Preview: Motion Mode & 90Hz Display In Tow


This article will be regularly updated with new information on the Google Pixel 4 & Pixel 4 XL — both official teasers and credible leaks, rumors, and insider claims — as it becomes available in the run-up to the release of the upcoming Android smartphone. The last update was made on September 12.

Google is expected to announce two new flagship phones in a couple of months, the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Despite the fact the announcement of these two phones is probably months away, we've already seen quite a few rumors and leaks, not to mention that Google actually confirmed part of the phone's design.

The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are expected to launch sometime in October, as the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL arrived in October last year. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL had their fair share of issues, software-related issues, not to mention that the Pixel 3 XL was not exactly a nice-looking phone.


That being said, Google will probably want to right the wrongs it did last year with the Pixel 4 series, on both of those fronts. Based on what we've seen thus far, the Pixel 4 series may not be as sleek-looking at some of us would want, but it will still be an improvement over the Pixel 3 series. In any case, we'll talk about that, and much more in this Google Pixel 4 preview article, so let's get started.

Google already confirmed part of the Pixel 4's design

Back in June, Google actually tweeted out an image which showed off the back side of the Pixel 4. The company used the "Pixel4" hashtag when it tweeted that out, so it flat out confirmed the design of the phone's back.


Considering that Google did not use the "Pixel4XL" hashtag, but the general one, probably indicates that the two phones will look the same, at least on the back, which is not surprising at all, that was the case with the Pixel 3 series as well.

In any case, the Pixel 4 series will include three cameras on the back, it seems. If you take a look at the image provided above, you will notice that there are two cameras on the left and right side of the camera unit on the back, while a third one is placed at the top. That third sensor is much smaller than the regular camera sensors, and could be a 3D ToF (Time-of-Flight unit). On the bottom of the camera unit lies an LED flash.

The back side of the phone will be flat, but the edges, the phone's frame, will be curved. The camera setup will protrude a bit on the back, and the company's logo will sit in the lower portion of the phone's back side.


Leaked renders revealed the rest of the phone's design

The Google Pixel 4 XL actually surfaced in renders, in both video and image formats. Those renders showed the same design to the one Google shared, of course, but they also revealed the design of the phone's front side, in addition to some other details.

If the leaked renders are accurate, the Google Pixel 4 XL will feature an extremely thin "chin" below the display, but its "forehead" will be quite thick. The phone's top bezel will be noticeably thinner than its bottom one, which is a rather odd choice on Google's part, presuming that the leaked renders are accurate.


All the physical keys will be located on the right-hand side of the phone, while a Type-C USB port will be included on the bottom. A set of front-facing speakers will make a comeback on this device, while a 3.5mm headphone jack will not be included on the device.

It is also worth noting that the Pixel 4 surfaced in a real life image, out and about. The device did have a case on, at the time, but the camera setup on the back gave it away.

What about its specifications?


Not much info surfaced regarding the Pixel 4 series specifications, but it's safe to assume that both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be fueled by the Snapdragon 855 64-bit octa-core processor. Google uses Qualcomm's flagship processors every year, for its flagship smartphones series, and this year will not be any different.

A tipster who shared the Pixel 4 XL renders did note that the phone will feature a 6.25-inch display, and that it will measure 160.4 x 75.2 x 8.2-9.3mm. The Pixel 4's display will be notably smaller than this, so it's possible we're getting a 5.5-inch or a 5.6-inch panel, though no info surfaced regarding that.

Android Q will come pre-installed on both phones, of course, while both devices are expected to utilize OLED panels. The Pixel 4 may include a fullHD+ panel, while the Pixel 4 XL will almost certainly ship with a QHD+ display.


Google is expected to include at least 6GB of RAM in these two smartphones, as the Pixel 3 flagship series had some serious issues with RAM management. Truth be said, Google's software was to blame for that, at least partially, but if the company included 6GB of RAM from the get-go, many such problems could have been avoided.

Both devices are expected to include an in-display fingerprint scanner, and IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. Quick charging will be a part of the package, and the same goes for wireless charging, though we're still not sure how fast will the two phones be able to charge up.

The Pixel 4 flagships are expected to include five cameras

Every single Pixel-branded device that the company released thus far has been considered to be amongst the best camera phones in the market. The same will probably happen with the Pixel 4 series, as the Pixel 3 series is still at the top, and the Pixel 4 is expected to bring some notable improvements to the table.


The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, presuming they will offer the very same camera setups, are expected to ship with five cameras, at least based on rumors and leaks. Three of those cameras will be placed on the back, while the other two will sit above the phone's display.

Now, if you're wondering about the secondary camera on the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, it seems like we're going to get a telephoto unit. Initial rumors suggested that it will be an ultrawide angle camera, but a Google Camera 6.3 code from Android Q Beta 5 suggests otherwise.

Facial scanning / air gestures

The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will have a rather large forehead, if the leaked images are to be believed. We already know that two cameras will be included up there, and one of the two speakers.

On top of that, you can expect your regular smartphone sensors to be included there, but are we getting something else? Advanced facial scanning tech maybe, or some sort of air gestures? Well, it's possible, Android Q's code did reveal that support for advanced facial scanning is there, but that could be there for third-party OEMs, not Google.

If we had to guess, we'd say that advanced facial scanning will not be included, but some sort of air gestures might. A recent rumor indicated that Google may include its Project Soli radar chip, which was first introduced back in 2015. If Google opts to include this chip, the phone may allow you to skip and silence media playback using gestures, that's only one example of what this could be used for.

What's new software-wise?

As most of you know, Google's Pixel devices usually get some additional goodies on top of vanilla Android, and that will be the case with the Pixel 4 series as well, it seems. If the leaked code is to be believed, the Pixel 4 devices may be able to capture a wider color gamut, well, Google Camera might.

On top of that, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL may ship with themes support. The Pixel Themes application will be coming to the Play Store according to leaked code, and it will allow you to change the accent color, icon shapes, Quick Settings icons, fonts, and much more.

Dynamic System Updates will also be a part of the package it seems. DSU allows you to dual-boot to a Generic System Image (GSI) without unlocking the bootloader or wiping your data.

A desktop mode may also be coming to the Pixel 4 devices. Google has been working on a competitor to Samsung's DeX mode, and such a desktop mode may debut on its upcoming flagships, at least the leaked code suggests it.

Some additional goodies may be included, like "Screen Attention" for example, which is a competitor to Samsung's "Smart Stay", and so on.

Will the Pixel 4 series be expensive, though?

Well, yes, quite probably. The Pixel 4 is rumored to start at $749 or $799 in the US, and the price tags will go up to a $1,000 at least, depending on the model. We're hoping that the base model of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will include at least 6GB of RAM, and at least 128GB of storage, but it remains to be seen what will happen.

The Google Pixel 4 series is expected to arrive in October, if the company plans to stick to its release cycle… though, truth be said, Google may opt to release both devices sooner this time around. Google may be aiming at an early September launch date, due to the arrival of the iPhone 11, or whatever Apple opts to call it. We'll see, more information regarding that will probably surface soon, and we'll keep you updated.

UPDATE (July 18): A report containing some of the Pixel 4's specifications surfaced. BGR claims that the provided info is provided by a source inside Google, and if the provided info is accurate, both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will include 6GB of RAM. The Pixel 4 will include a fullHD+ display, while the Pixel 4 XL will ship with a QHD+ panel. For more info, click here.

UPDATE (July 22): New images of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL surfaced, showing off front panels of these two phones. What's interesting here, is that they seemingly confirm Project Soli touchless gesture sensor, based on the cutouts at the top.

UPDATE (July 29): Google has more or less confirmed that both Pixel 4 phones will include advanced facial scanning and "Motion Sense". Both phones will include specialized hardware for facial scanning, and you will be able to use air gestures in order to communicate with the phone.

UPDATE (August 8): A rumor appeared, claiming that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will offer display refresh rate improvements. The two devices will, allegedly, feature a 90Hz display refresh rate. That would place both phones on the OnePlus 7 Pro's level in terms of refresh rate.

UPDATE (August 13): The Google Pixel 4 appeared out in the wild. One image appeared, showing the phone from a side. In this image, the phone's forehead is clearly visible, as it will be considerably thicker than the rest of its bezels.

UPDATE (August 20): The Google Pixel 4 appeared in two real-life images. The black variant of the device.

UPDATE (September 3): Both the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL got certified by the FCC.

UPDATE (September 5): A leaked hands-on video gave us a far better look at the Google Pixel 4 XL.

The Google Pixel 4 handsets will have a 90Hz display refresh rate. At least according to a code in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

UPDATE (September 6): Following the black Google Pixel 4 XL, a white one appeared in a hands-on video as well.

UPDATE (September 6): The Pixel 4 camera will offer something called "Motion Mode" for action shots.

The Google Pixel 4's Motion Sense feature will not work in all countries, at least according to this info.

UPDATE (September 9): The Google Pixel 4 appeared in three color variants, real-life images. One of those images is the "Coral" one, giving us a very first look at the phone.

On that same day, another leak surfaced. A leaked ad has shown some of the phone's features, though the ad was quickly removed.

UPDATE (September 10): Black and White Google Pixel 4 XL units have surfaced in several real-life images. These images are actually quite clear, so they offer a good look at both phones.

One of the two Pixel 4 phones appeared in a leaked render to suggest a date of announcement. "Oct 15" is written as the date on that render, suggesting that's the release date for the two phones.

If you want to know more about the Pixel 4's Motion Sense features, well, some information has appeared.

UPDATE (September 11): Hands-on video with the "Coral" Google Pixel 4 appeared, if you'd like to take a closer look.

Some of the Pixel 4's specifications appeared in form of a screenshot on the device itself.

A 6-minute video appeared on YouTube, and shared more information about the Pixel 4.